Under Fire Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Cocon calculate about the squad?

2. Why does Joseph Mesnil go into "no man's land"?

3. What does the Foreign Legionnaire try to give to his comrade?

4. How does Lamuse find Eudoxie's corpse?

5. What do the men think of all of the things that the army issues them?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Lamuse is a unique character with strange, but internally consistent behavior. He is eccentric, but extremely loyal to his squad. Among the many normal men the narrator describes being drawn into the war, Lamuse learns to adapt well and demonstrates his strong character at many points in the novel.

Part 1) Describe Lamuse as a character. Who is he? Where does he come from? What is his appearance? What are his personality traits?

Part 2) The narrator often uses comparisons to various animals to describe Lamuse. Cite some of these examples and explain their purpose. What do these comparisons establish about Lamuse?

Part 3) Explain some of Lamuse's eccentricities and odd behavior, as well as some ways that he demonstrates his loyalty and dedication to the squad.

Essay Topic 2

The machine gun is a feared weapon on the battlefield, and rightly so. Its effectiveness is seen in detail in the chapter "Under Fire," and the men discuss it on many occasions. It is the primary reason for the existence of trench warfare, and the cause of most of the misery on which the book centers. The machine gunners themselves represent an almost élite class in the army, being specially favored targets for retribution and looting, and receiving a variety of favors from their own side.

Part 1) Use information from the book to explain what a machine gun is and its impact on warfare in the time of the novel.

Part 2) Explain the men's perceptions and fears about machine guns. Cite specific examples to justify or disprove these perceptions.

Part 3) Discuss some of the ways that machine gunners are treated differently from other soldiers, both by their own forces and by the enemy. Why do these men receive this treatment?

Essay Topic 3

The author makes it a point to center the narrative spotlight on a number of inexplicable or irrational actions on the part of the French army and its officers. The army does much that makes little sense, and this tends to reinforce the theme of hopeless and pointless waste.

Part 1) Describe some examples of actions on the part of the French army and its officers that seems to make little sense.

Part 2) Explain the reaction of the men of Bertrand's squad to this irrationality. Cite specific examples of these reactions and explain their significance.

Part 3) Speculate as to the reasoning behind some of these unexplained or mysterious actions. Could there be well-founded explanations for some of these behaviors? In the case of actions with no apparent explanation, speculate about how such an action became sanctioned and approved by the military.

(see the answer keys)

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